The carnival was first started in 1968 after Old Town residents felt the original Hastings Carnival should have included the Old Town in its route and decided to set up their own carnival.
It event gradually increased in popularity and over the years got much bigger. The Hastings event became less popular and eventually stopped.
As a parting gift the Old Town organisers were allowed to title the Carnival Queen "Miss Hastings".
Organised by volunteers and supporting numerous local charities, Hastings Old Town Carnival week has become a fun week for visitor and locals alike.
The Carnival Association preside over the organisation of the Carnival, and it's members meet often during the year to make the arrangements for the event.
The members of the Carnival court, travel to the various national Carnivals to represent Hastings and St. Leonards.
Winning entrants crowned as Carnival Queen and the carnival court (princesses) as follows:
- Carnival Queen 2017 - Elizabeth Fowler. Princesses - Frankie Stewart and Harmony Crane.
- Carnival Queen 2016 - Hannah Burgess. Princesses - Frankie Stewart, Talitha Ford-Fisher and Harmony Crane.
- Carnival Queen 2015 - Chloe Stretton. Princesses - Hannah Burgess and Talitha Ford-Fisher.
- Carnival Queen 2014 - Leylah Dobinson. Princesses - Chloe Stretton and Hannah Burgess.
- Carnival Queen 2013 - Bethany Hill. Princesses - Leylah Dobinson and Cheyenne Mishewski.
- Carnival Queen 2012 - Elle Shoesmith. Princesses - Emma Tyrrel and Cheyenne Mishewski.
- Carnival Queen 2011 - April Grant. Princesses - Lucy Richardson and Nicole Pavitt and also Deputy Miss Hastings Tamara Gates.
- Carnival Queen 2010 - Tamara Gates. Princesses - Nicole Pavitt, Francesca Louise and Kemi Seetarum.
- Carnival Queen 2009 - Lara Duke. Princesses - Zoe Waters and Victoria Lavender.
- Carnival Queen 2008 - Gemmaine Baughurst. Princesses - Cassie Abbott and Keira Donnelly.
- Carnival Queen 2007 - Kelly Cornford. Princesses - Emily Zervakis, Amy Baines and Gemmaine Baughurst.
- Carnival Queen 2006 - Amy Fuller. Princesses - Gemmaine Baughurst, Suzanna Milton and Lucie Hide.
- Carnival Queen 2005 - Lydia Hall. Princesses - Lucy Ansell, Amy Fuller and Lisa Jones.
- Carnival Queen 2004 - Tracy Bryant. Princesses - Lorna Hollister, Lydia Hall and Lucy Ansell.
- Carnival Queen 2003 - Krystal Finch. Princesses - April Hollister, Charlotte Vaughan and Lydia Hall.
- Carnival Queen 2002 - Lucie Hide. Princesses - Eugenie Demeza and Carrie Skelton.
- Carnival Queen 2001 - Sophie Foster. Princesses - Amanda Hills and Lucie Hide.
- Carnival Queen 2000 - Leah Newman. Princesses - Vicky Griffiths and Lisa O'Connell.
- Carnival Queen 1999 - Leah Newman. Princesses - Stephanie Bowers and Elizabeth Taylor.
Best Carnival Float: Mary Poppins.